NCAA title game buzz: Looking ahead to next year

04/07/2014 10:33 PM

04/07/2014 10:33 PM

The 2015 Final Four returns to Lucas Oil Stadium. It was last played there in 2010, when Duke held off Butler in the final. West Virginia and Michigan State were the other semifinalists.

Sweet 16 and regional championship games are set for NRG Stadium in Houston; the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y.; Staples Center in Los Angeles; and Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

The second- and third-round games are in Seattle; Omaha, Neb.; Columbus, Ohio; Charlotte, N.C.; Portland, Ore.; Pittsburgh; Louisville, Ky.; and Jacksonville, Fla.

The 2016 Final Four will be played in Houston, and sites beyond that season are expected to be announced later this year.


Dad’s got twins’ back

Aaron Harrison, father of Kentucky twin guards Aaron and Andrew Harrison, had plenty to say about the game. In the first half, as the Wildcats were falling behind, he was yelling as his kids on offense, “Take him!”

On the defensive end, he saved his comments for the officiating crew of Verne Harris, Joe DeRose and Doug Shows.

“Every time we go to the basket they’re grabbing their arms. Because they’re little you’re letting it go!”

Smart move

Oklahoma State sophomore guard Marcus Smart made it official Monday. He’s going pro.

Smart averaged 17.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.7 assists in an all-conference season. But in many ways it wasn’t the step forward that was expected after he was chosen Big 12 player of the year as a freshman.

Smart received a three-game suspension for shoving a fan at Texas Tech. And, the Cowboys lost in the same spot this year as last in the NCAA Tournament, in the first game.

Smart’s departure means the only player chosen to the All-Big 12 first team scheduled to return next year is West Virginia guard Juwan Staten.

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